Thursday, May 31, 2007

Back to life

Biru was just as good as I remembered it to be. A month measures into very little when considering how much I enjoy a fresh, cold draft. I hated my life the next day, but maybe it was worth it. I'm still trying to decide, as my headache still remains.
Shit, 2007 isn't much different than any other year, is it? Where am I?

I am in a place that rarely makes me bored. And because of that, I'm okay no matter what headaches tell me.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Happy Birthday

I know I'm a terrible daughter. How unthoughtful of me to have not called you on Mother's Day. And then when we do talk, be annoyed at the story you're telling me. I'm so sorry. Sometimes I can't help my behavior when my mood turns foul. I will wake up early tomorrow though and be sure to wish you a happy 47th. You know, I'm getting surprise how we both are rising in age, me climbing into 30 with you on your way to 50. Our 19 year difference seems to be feeling smaller.

Anyway, I wish that I could have taken your complaints and worries about things more seriously. I just want to hear more good news, but I guess so do you. I'll try to make something good happen, so that I can call you with some good news, but for now, please just accept my wishes for a you having a Happy Birthday. I love you, Toni.

Dryer than May

Day 31 has finally arrived.

Tomorrow morning will be the 1 month mark of no drinking and no smoking. On Saturday, during the ride home from Yamanaka-ko, Andy stopped off at a big liquor store in Shizuoka. I found Herradura and Tanqueray for pretty cheap, so I prepared for my descent back into debaucherous alcoholism. I also bought a few lime Chuhai's, my 3rd favorite flavor. First favorite is Mango, second is Freeze Orange, and third is lime. Aloe is my least favorite, though I occasionally claim to love it.

I'm so tempted to take shots of my Tequila and chase it down with a super limey G and T with olives. Why? Well, just to piss myself off, and to fail to reach my goal mere hours before the mark. As much as I thoroughly enjoy engaging in failure, I will refrain, only because I hate hangovers, and I only want to deal with one or two for this week. And I'm sure I can count on one for Thursday. To be honest, what I miss most is beer, most specifically, a nice heady Newcastle in a pint glass, but I'll settle for a Yebisu noma-biru. (or a green Yeby hops in a can, whichever)

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Fuji-san wa dare desuka?

Mount Fuji is the tallest mountain in Japan. He towers at about 12,388 feet. Every Nihon-jin knows that Fuji is 3,776 meters. He is a shy little character. He often hides behind layers of myst, and only on the clearest of days can you spot him from distances as far as Tokyo or Shimada. Recently, I have fallen deeply in love with Fuji-san. Perhaps it isn't until you have the chance to see him up close before you notice all his charms.

His head is covered with snow for half the year. Once summer begins to arrive, the rivers become a little faster and the lakes a little deeper.

He is still considered an active volcano but with a very low risk of eruption. The last time he got worked up, in the 1700's, he burst from his belly and sent ash and lava down his side into the valley below. Though the surface of his body is almost void of life, his feet are surrounded by lush hills of forest. Aokigahara Jukai is a fabledly haunted forest that has become a popular spot to commit suicide due to the dense and icy caverns of trees that make it unlikely that your body will be rescued from the attempt toward death. Most corpses are never found.

It might be a bit difficult to understand what it is about Fuji-san that attracts the curiousity of onlookers. Perhaps it is the fact that he stands so straight and alone and perfect amongst an unusually flat landscape, that captures such wild attention.

I stayed in a hotel that resembled The Shining which had one of the greatest balcony views that I have ever witnessed. It was utterly breathtaking. I mustn't forget to mention that I also onsened next to this amazing view.

It is very popular to climb Fuji-san during the summer months when the snow melts and the top crater becomes easier to deal with. You can go as high as the tip of the crater should you want to. People have suffered from altitude sickness due to climbing up too fast. You have to give yourself time to adjust to the levels in order to be at one with Fuji-san.

The first time I laid eyes on this beast was when i had stayed the night at my friend, Aine's, house. I arrived past midnight, drunk as hell and quickly fell asleep. However, once I went onto her balcony for a morning smoke, I happened to look up and see him as an absolute monstrosity.

He is scary, intimidating. Or rather stunningly fantastic and surreal.

Occasionally, your expectations and imagination can be struck by the unexpected girth and beauty of nature. Japan is amazing. Earth is beautiful.



Friday, May 25, 2007


Like in America, once the media in Japan says that something is a national epidemic, it becomes the hottest topic of conversation and everyone begins forming their opinion on the subject. As someone who works with children in the public school system, the big topic is bullying and its relationship to teenage suicide (don't do it). I shouldn't make bad 80's movie jokes, as suicide is not really an issue to laugh at, however, I do believe that most people phase their eyes away from the bigger picture surrounding this issue.

If you've ever known a person with severe depression who has discussed their feelings about suicide with you, you realize that there is no one thing that can be pointed to as a sole reason of wanting to die. It is something massive, like a shadow from the sky, something that cannot be explained like this: Q-Why did you hang yourself before your family woke up this morning? A-Because those boys bullied me.

Today, at our regional meetings, we discussed the issue of getting the shy and "cool" kids in our classes to participate more in class. Eventually, the subject meandered into the realm of our responsibilities with discipline which then trickled into the perfect segway into each of us giving our opinions on school bullying. Though there may be slight sarcasm in my tone, I, of course, have my own feelings on the subject but kept quiet in order to gauge the opinions of the others.

I disagreed with the concensus. What a surprise, right?

Well, I think that ignoring youngsters' need for guidance is terrible. Everyone seemed focused on disciplining the bully and using force to stop them from inducing force onto others. I don't mean to sound like that hippy teacher from Beavis and Butthead, but I will. I think that children, especially these kids, are not idiots nor do they lack a sense of empathy that many kids grown by MY culture currently lack. I believe that if the topic is brought up in an informal type of discussion about why people bully and what it must be like to be bullied without making accusations or allegations, then you can give people a chance to ponder over their actions without feeling threatrened and accused. When people feel like they recognize their own problems instead of having them told to them by another, they are more likely to try and change them. So, perhaps if you can subtlely get people to realize their anti-social, cruel tendencies, then maybe you can help them identify anonymously, while fixing anonymously.

Bullying is a part of life. Food chain, survival of the fittest, a necessity of evolution, Darwin may say. In a way, I agree. I think back to how I've played the bully. As the oldest of 5 children, I have always acted as the leader, boss, instigator, which all equate to bully. I teased, manipulated, and intimidated my younger siblings, especially my brother. When I think back to what the cause of my anger was, I realize that picking on my brother was how I channeled the anger that came from parents onto me. People learn their social skills from their family and friends. Habits are built, not born. Educating people on how to question themselves can probably be one of the greatest lessons you can learn.

On the other hand, when I think back to the times that I have been bullied, when I'd hide from Casey in 2nd grade, or when I was ceaselessly teased for being poor because my mom bought me bubbles to give as a kris-kringle gift, or when Alejandra told all my friends that I was in love with her in 8th grade, those are the things that made me who I am now. Maybe a little paranoid and untrusting, but insistant on finding true friends who understand love rather than trivial acquaintances who offer nothing but emptiness and chatter. During my bouts with being hated, I learned what meanness felt like, which I hope has influenced me into wanting to avoid hurting others in that way. So i am in agreement with the phrase: what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger. Unless the strength feels like weakness and you kill yourself.

Let's get back onto the subject of the suicide trend. Perhaps a closer look at the Japanese culture is in order. If you take a look on how suicide has been viewed throughout history, you will see that it is seen as a death associated with honor. You are caught by a rival samurai? HiriKiri. Strength, bravery, honor.

When you study the lives of teenagers in Japan, you begin to realize that most of their time is spent in school. Arriving around 8am, leaving at about 8pm, after their club activities. Spending Saturdays involved with their clubs, well, they seem to spend very little time at home. When you watch the interactions between the kids at school, you see strong bonds of love and friendship among them, which of course is fostered by the amount of time and cooperation these kids share with each other. So imagine this.....A student is born to a set of parents who aren't very socialable people. Perhaps they do not interact much with their family, so they read become engrossed in lives described in books. At school, they find it hard to overcome their shyness and speak with people and eventually the people forget they exist. That is, until it is time for class presentations, or when they must get up to the front of the class and speak. They are laughed at. Due to the increasing absence of homelife, and their inability to intermingle and find connections in school, they become detached from society, from love, from a sense of belonging. These are the things that make life seem unlivable.

How to solve things like this? Talk. Talk about your feelings. Ask. Ask people how they feel. Be there. Unfortunately, we are not all fluent in Japanese, which makes this impossible to do here. No wonder our responsibilities are so limited.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


Last year, I was on the SF mailing list which was plagued with a bunch of stupid questions that were totally answered in all the information packets they send and provide on the internet. However, once I signed up, I never took myself off of it because I thought it too much of a hassle.

However, now that the new JETs have received their placements, the emails are back. And stupider than ever. I am not refering to the newbies since I know what it felt like having all those questions and wanting to know as much as I could before going. No, my complaint is with the sempai. Somehow, it makes me feel like they're just a big bunch of know-it-alls. Not all sempais suck, but a couple of them did and for some reason those are the loudest and most attention grabbing.
Why am I even wasting my time writing about it? God.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Sakana Song

My local grocery store, Hibariya, has this song that plays on repeat by the fish section.

It gets stuck in my head, and i end up in my kitchen with a bag a fish without any clue of how it got there.

It's almost like the time when Traci and I shopped drunk in the 24 hour Super K, and bought a giant frozen fish that ended up traveling from freezer to freezer throughout our apartment complex.

Please watch, it could happen to you!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Day 21

It has been 3 weeks since smoking or drinking, and I'm feeling pretty good about it. That's not to say that I don't mentally imagine what flavor Chuhai or what type of beer I'd purchase when passing the beer fridge in a Konbini. Doing this as you pass any alcohol aisle or cigarette machine is strangely relaxing. It's almost as if you really were pulling a cold, Mango chuhai or a green Yebisu hops right out of the fridge.

Last night I went to a party at Grace's and drank various types of tea. It was quite interesting watching everyone else drinking it up and seeing how the other half lives. I miss smoking, but not all that much, however I am pretty sure that it will be extremely difficult to keep away from them after my dry month is over. I'm still going to try, though. It was incredibly helpful to maintain willpower when you have a friend helping you out. In fact, I attribute most of my success to Dave's co-quitting since I probably would have said "fuck it" during the first day of Golden Week and every weekend since, because it just seemed so impossible. Though it's not a bet or a competition, I refused to fuck up the sober streak, as long as he was sticking to it, and so here I am three weeks later--all straight-edge and shit. Crazy huh?

Friday, May 18, 2007

Chance and odds

I was excited to hear that my bff's gonna be sharing Fuji with me. I found it quite coincidental that of the 47 prefectures in Japan, that he's gonna be in the one right next to mine.

We're gonna have alot of fun.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

FUJI ROCK 07 July 27, 28, 29

Music Festival with Camping? Done and Done.

Beastie boys
Chemical brothers
Blonde Redhead
Yo la tengo
Iggy Pop

akiko / Moreno-Domenico-Kassin+2
the band apart
畠山美由紀 with Asa-Chang & ブルーハッツ
【 オールナイトフジ 】
Dr. SHINGO 2007.07.28 SAT

!!! (chk chk chk)
Gov't Mule
Panorama Steel Orchestra
RRIICCEE music Vincent Gallo
TAKKYU ISHINO 湯川潮音 2007.07.29 SUN

ザ・キングトーンズ with Jimmy and the Vivids
Marva Whitney with Osaka Monaurail

Monday, May 14, 2007

Mother's Day

My therapist told me that this was probably the worst way to begin a story. I understood her position, and I spent the rest of the session trying to fictionalize the situation into a better introduction. However, after unplunking herself from my miniture sofa and hugging me goodbye, she left without another word about it. In truth, she doesn't care how I begin my story, nor does she mind if I were even to write it at all. Mostly because she finds my stories uncomfortable to listen to, and she's convinced that 95% of the words from my mouth are foolish fallacies. Perhaps this opinion ought to offend my feelings. It doesn't. Nothing really does that, anymore. This partly resulted from an incident occuring during adolescence, just 4 days after my first orgasm. 19-- was a dubiously unlucky year for me, the year that I bled from my bottom and when most of me went numb. Eventually, some sensations found their way back to my body, but my ability to properly masterbate is still fucked, which leads me back to how I was advised NOT to introduce myself.

Hasako warned me that no normal, healthy pervert gets off on a novel about imagining a masterbating cripple. Her exact words. Her English has never been standardly tested, so there's still the possibility that she knows all the nicer synonyms that imply that a portion of one's body has been rendered dysfuntional, thus useless. But I taught her the word "cripple", mostly to irk my mother who almost used to live with me. Just one week after she found out that I had subleted her tiny Houston apartment to two Mexican brothers, she appeared at the door of my loft just outside of Nagoya. Oh, I don't mean to suggest that I rented out the apartment she had been residing in, but rather the one she's been letting me hole up in since I was a sophmore in high school.

On a side note, that's part of the reason Hasako doubts me so often, because I'm often unclear and she misunderstands, due to her tendency to lean to the side of the ridiculous rather than what makes most sense. Whatever, though, I often lie to her. I might as well admit it now, right?

Part of the reason is that I love the look on her face when she pretends to be shocked. Her tall, un-Japanese nose flairs like those expensive sea anemones you can find at the bottom of fancy aquariums. And her eyes seem to take center stage when they fling themselves open as if coming up for breath after being submerged under beauty bath mineral mud. Her eyes are normally hidden behind a pair of black, square-rimmed glasses but while under the influence of rumors or excitement, they melt away into her soft, freckled skin. It's the only time I think she looks attractive. I'm not sure if I accidently described her as sounding like a beauty, but she isn't.

She's not really young, but she's not necessarily old either. The only tangible suggestion of age that she exudes is her son, who shares his mother's curious elusiveness. Actually, this fact became a problem for him once he transitioned into middle school. According to Hasako, it isn't his remarkably round babyface that summons the attention of his schoolmates. Rather, it is the combination of his odd shaped fantanelle and its hilly tuft of black, silky fine hair. The cap of his skull sinks inward giving the impression that his soft spot was rammed inward before closing shut during infancy.

People must wonder if there's a connection between his peculiarly shaped head and his inability to shut the fuck up. Surely, I wonder this everytime he comes to my door looking for his mother. That's probably one of the only times I thank my stars that Hasako is no longer tutoring me in Japanese. If I had a better grasp of understanding spoken Japanese, I may have probably banned the kid from coming to my house months ago. I'm not being hateful, for if you heard his voice, you'd understand what I meant, I swear.

Hasako had answered an advert that my mother had put out in the English pamphlet that she found in the Nagoya public library. My mother and her had agreed upon a meeting time of 19:00, which in summer, corresponds with the most beautiful sky at dusk. However, nobody but Yuuki, her son, noticed the magnificent shades of pink dripping down the light yellow canvas. Yes, Hasako brought her son to her job interview, and yes, my mom would have probably decided not to hire her had she not have been driven away in such a rage. I'm actually much more impressed with Hasako's reaction that night, rather than with my own brilliance of successfully expunging my mother from my apartment. I was not at all impressed by Yuuki. He just sat there, speechless. For such a loudmouth, his opinions were nonexistent on that night.

Unfortunately, the events of that evening is still one topic that Hasako absolutely refuses to both talk or even hear about. In theory, it's understood that there is no truly taboo subject matter between us, none except this one. With a touch of honesty, I'll admit here that I also harbor my own stash of embarrassment, which I keep sandwiched under some healthy layers of regret. However, if I am to adequately describe Hasako's and my relationship successfully, I must uproot and re-bury the dusky afternoon when I first laid eyes on Hasako and sent my mother packing in a trail of disgusted tears.

To be fair, my mother is excellent at revenge. You see, after she was telephoned at 2 in the AM to come to her apartment premises because of loud, unnatural noises seeping from underneath the doors, she naturally grew worried about her only child, residing alone and crippled in a complex not far from downtown Houston. You know, in the poorer, dirtier, more ethnic area of the city. I laugh everytime I imagine my mother's face when she unlocked the door with her master key, and scurried worryingly toward the bedroom noisefest. I honestly believed those guys were brothers. They looked just like each other! How could I have verified that they weren't who they said they were? ID checks? Come on.....Anyway, two weeks later, without a word of warning, there's my mother fumbling through a Japanese phrasebook at the taxi platform outside of Nagoya Airport.

At the time, my mother had me convinced that she had indeed quit her job back in Arizona, and decided to follow me to Japan. Of course, I didn't think she was serious in the beginning, but after her third Monday slugged on by, I became worried. Especially since the weather had gone into the full rainy season swing, without seeming to dampen my mother's spirits in the slightest. I wonder if you're asking yourself whether my mother is a meddling worrywort who has spent the last 12 years of both hers and my own life fretting over her crippled child. In case you were, the answer is No.

Like I said before, my mother is excellent at revenge. It is just that, and that alone which fueled her drive to her travel agent, held her hand through the busy airport, and tossed two, blue Tylenol PMs into her gullet before her 11 hour flight to the center of Japan. In fact, she's been miserable since she stepped out of her air-conditioned Taurus back in the airport parking lot. Actually, she's been miserable much longer than that, but that is probably the least interesting thing about her recent arrival in Japan. But she wasn't giving me any indication that she will be leaving soon, so I decided that I better get at it before she begins forwarding her mail to my address.

I didn't know that we were going to be visited by a Japanese woman and her boy, so I hadn't made any attempt at putting on any decent visiting clothes. In fact, i was laying beneath a fan atop my futon in nothing but a pair of white boxers and what my uncle calls a wife beater. Apparently, even domestic abuse has a fashion sense.

Part of my mother's tactics in revenge include embarrassment in front of strangers, including embarrassing the strangers themselves. Since I am a cripple living in a pretty small apartment, I have no mind to keep my wheelchair outside the house. I don't mind crawling around the house since I've been doing this for years. It really isn't too much trouble since my arms are pretty strong and my body is quite light.

The doorbell rings and I look up from my book. My mother's eyes evade mine and she jumps up like a naughty little sprite and runs to the door. In my mother's eagerness to embarrass, she rushes Hasako's "Hajimemashite"'s and "Dozo Yoroshiku"'s and pulls her and her son into the living room. In a loud, overshadowing voice she announces, "My name is Yvonne, and this is my daughter, Angela. Please excuse her for not getting up to greet you, you see...." "You see, I'm crippled", I finish. My mother does her famous roll of the eyes that looks more like she's got mascara in them, and in less than a second, returns her attention onto Hasako. "I'm sorry, I didn't catch your name", my mother sizzles. "Oh, yes, I'm sorry, it's nice to meet you. My name is Hasako, and this is my son..." "Hasako," mother interrupts, "Have you ever worked with the handicapped before?"

I need to do a little pause right here. As you can probably imagine, a person just doesn't magically turn into an Yvonne overnight. A personality like this takes years to form, which of course leaves me with the same amount of practice years battling with such a personality. So one might say that I have evolved a spectacular ability to boldly place myself in humiliating positions in order to win, or at least survive mental and emotional warfare. After realizing what my mother had done, to not only me, but this poor mother and child (at this point in time, i still sympathized with the boy), I felt an overwhelming urge to teach her a lesson, a lesson that would make my mother never want to step another foot within the same island as me ever again. However, I couldn't think of a thing. That is, not until I noticed Yuuki fumbling with his crotch.

"Excuse me, Hasako, but I think your little boy might have to use the toilet." I say a bit reluctantly, knowing this is probably going to embarrass her. I felt bad, as I always do when I cause anyone embarrassment. All I can attribute that to is an emotional backlash against my mother's mannerisms. As my mother shows her to the leiu, I begin to crawl to the kitchen. "What do you need, honey?" my mother asks. "Nothing, I can get it myself, I'm just getting water." Once I get into the kitchen, I lift myself onto the little stool and fill up a large 2 litre tea bottle with tap water. Once it is full, i reconsider my idea. Then I reach up for the canister of sea salt and begin to pour it into the water. The can was a little less than than a quarter full, so I let all the salt slide right into the water. I recapped, shook it a bit, and descended the stool. Within a minute, I made it back onto my futon.

As I uncapped the bottle, I could hear Hasako speaking to Yuuki quietly in Japanese. Despite knowing hardly a word of Japanese, I could hear the worried tension in their conversation. My mother was also listening, and if there's one mind I can read whether I want to or not, it's hers. She was trying to decide whether she wanted this Hasako person coming over everyday to teach her daughter Japanese. She didn't really like her, though she thought her son was quite adorable. "Oriental children have such cute little faces, and such fashion to match!" was the exact quote, should you be interested in the thoughts of my mother. As I listened to the voices of the two woman wind together like the snakes of the caduceous, I brought the bottle of warm salt water to my lips. With everything in mind, I drank to my health.

The first taste made me want to puke. I pulled at the futon sheet and twirled the corner in my palm. Focusing on this allowed me to get through the first half of the bottle. I felt my stomach grumble, but I continued. I stopped when I saw Hasako watching me. I could have sworn that she sensed my disgust with the beverage, however since we are not allowed to talk about the incident, she's never confirmed or denied my suspicions. My mother brings us back on track by opening the dam of questions regarding Hasako's experience.

She had none, she explained. Hasako just thought that it would be nice to have an international friend to teach Japanese to, and perhaps get the opportunity to simultaneously practice her English. Hasako definitely looked liked she regretted calling the number from the ad. If only she would have listened to her husband when he called her a fool to want to teach Japanese to Gaijin. "All you'll do is build the confidence of another one so they can go out in public and butcher the beautiful sound of our language." She didn't even pretend to care for his opinion. "It's not even that beautiful", she retorted. He stuffed a large mound of sweetened egg and white rice into his mouth, and with that, she left for her interview. After hearing the front door slide closed, Yuuki ran out as if not to be left alone with his father.

The first time that I refered to Yuuki as a momma's boy, Hasako's face looked confused, then suspicious. I assumed that my accusation was going to require an explanation, and I was right in guessing that Hasaka hadn't heard the term "momma's boy" before. By that point, which was maybe about 3 and a half months after the night my mother left and I decided to hire Hasako as my Japanese tutor, she was coming by about four days a week.

I most certainly did have an interest in learning Japanese, as I have run into many complicated problems based on my inability to speak or read the language. However, after the first 10 minutes of our initial session, I found that our personalities were not suited to these roles of student and teacher. She was too curious about what my life was all about, while at the same time, too polite to even hint at asking. Luckily for us both, however, what my life was all about happened to be my favorite topic of conversation.

After not much time at all, our roles became a bit easier to define. Hasako played as a musing listener to countless tangles of anecdotes ladened in misanthropic cynicism while I played the angry, didactic halophile. She would always respond to me with unyielding, calmingly wise advice. That's not to say she was unyeilding or calm. Her mannerisms suggested an absence of cinders in her blood, and many have foolishly passed her by because of it. But I understood perfectly the day she explained the source of her passions.

"Maybe it's because of the lava onsen," she began, "Along a tiny path behind a mikan grove, about half a kilometer from my house, there was a shrine that had a small natural hot spring pool in the back. My grandmother enjoyed when i'd bring her fire stones, so I'd walk there after school, carrying the stones in a little bucket. It was a very quiet journey, except for the afternoon reminder to the children that it is time to go home. Summer was the best season for this activity because the blossoms made me drunk with the envy of fire. Anyway, the lava onsen was much hotter than the other ones around our village, so nobody liked to go there to soak. It's color was a reddish brown, and i used to think that it smelled like when my mother was cooking eggs. I dipped the bucket into the water, and returned home. The stones would stay fire-hot all the way home, even after the water cooled. My grandmother would put them on her shoulders to soothe the muscles." She paused, waiting for me to say something. Strangely, I hadn't any questions. She continued, "So sometimes I feel like my firestones. Hot, then cold, depending on where I am. However, when I leave a hot place, I stay hot for a very long time. Longer than it is natural, maybe."

Of course, this form of therapy wasn't really bettering either of us, but rather entertaining the otherwise boring afternoons we may have spent alone, or even worse, with somebody else, whose company would most likely disappoint. Before our roles were made public to each other, I asked her how she felt about cynics. She told me that she wasn't really sure. I loved her for that second that it took her to make that admission. I explained that most people love skeptics and fear cynics. Skeptics doubt the details of what they hear and read, while cynics doubt the motives of those they hear or read it from. So I asked her again what she thought about cynics. She replied, "it sounds like cynics must not know very much about themselves, ne?" Why would she say that, I wondered.

And that was the second time I felt that thing in my tummy.

My stomach has always served as my crystal ball to many mysteries of life ranging from whether or not I trust someone to whether a plant is or isn't poisonous. On the first afternoon that Hasako saw me in boxers, my stomach soon demanded the room's attention. It bellowed and rumbled like a lawnmower engine. My mother was in the middle of asking about Hasako's husband when my engine swallowed a rock. Everyone looked up at me. I don't feel so good, I hummed. "What do you mean?" my mother asked.

That was probably the first valid question she's asked since she's been here. As you might imagine about cripples, I'm often in alot of pain. My not feeling so good is actually a quite common occurence, though not many people are very aware of it, since I'm quite the expert in both self-medicating and keeping quiet. If there's anything that annoys me more than my mother's recent visit, it's my distaste for complaining. Due to the displaced bone fragments from L-3 vertebrae down to my S-5, my spinal cord was crushed. The area just underneath my belly, and right above my mons is one of my most sensitive spots on my body, and just half an inch lower, I feel nothing. So when I announced that I didn't feel so good, that's just to say that my stomach felt full and gaseous. Whatever was happening in my stomach made my eyes tear up, and my mom tossed me a disconcerting look.

At this point, my apartment had been fully doused with uneasiness. I truly felt sorry for having put Hasako into this situation, when I could have easily waited until her and her son left. However, something told me that my mother would not have felt the same level of mortification had it just been us. In fact, it may have just been like any other day.

When I realized that neither Hasako nor Yuuki would ever mention that day again, I couldn't help but wonder why. Speaking specifically about Hasako, how was it that she felt that day, which made her raise her voice to me when I tried to apologize for what happened. "I cannot have the events of that day in my head", is all she had to say to shut me up. I believe it was the accentual strength of her T's that really drove the needles into my nerves. My head fell into a natural, shameful bow and my eyelids folded over my eyes as if they were a modest schoolgirl covering her nakedness in a crowded bath house. I constantly felt ashamed that after a six month affair with a married woman, I still continued to pay her to come and teach me Japanese.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007


Although it may be a little boring to make lesson plans, correct tests, etc., I rarely have a bad time in my classes. In my OC class, the kids made French toast, and here's some video of them doing it. I took these with my cell keitai, so you have to forgive the quality. Or not, i don't need forgiveness.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Alright, I couldn't do it.

During a strange mood, I deleted my blog, facebook and myspace. But I immediately freaked out about my fantasy world and brought it back to life. Who am I kidding? Whether or not I have time to waste on this is irrelevent. The fact is that I like writing. I do still hate facebook though. So i thought that maybe if I changed it around a bit, I might feel better about it.

On a related subject, I read some newsletter that warned us participants of internationalization that we should be keep in mind the type of things we write in our stupid online diaries because they can get us in trouble with our schools and supervisors. I skimmed my pages and realized there are maybe a few questionable posts floating around my page, maybe even quite recently. But what the hell am I supposed to do? Lie? Write about the same things everybody else does? I thought I was already doing that........

Well, if they can get away with blackface memoribilia, then I think that I can post a few tastefully, risque pics and poke fun at cultural differences.

Monday, May 07, 2007

unoriginal and old, but happy;)

1. You've ever ended a sentence with the word SIKE.
2. You can sing the rap to the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and can do the Carlton
3. You know that "WOAH" comes from Joey on Blossom
4. If you ever watched "Fraggle Rock"
5. It was actually worth getting up early on a Saturday to watch cartoons.
6. You wore a ponytail on the side of your head.
7. You got super-excited when it was Oregon Trail day in computer class at school.
8. You made your mom buy one of those clips that would hold your shirt
in a knot on the side.
9. You played the game "MASH"(Mansion, Apartment, Shelter, House)
10. You wore stonewashed Jordache jean jackets and were proud of it.
11. You know the profound meaning of " WAX ON , WAX OFF"
12. You wanted to be a Goonie.
13. You ever wore fluorescent clothing.
14. You can remember when Michael Jackson was awesomely not a pervert.
15. You have ever pondered why Smurfette was the only female smurf.
16. You took lunch boxes to school...and traded Garbage Pailkids in the
17. You remember the CRAZE, then the BANNING of slap bracelets.
18. You still get the urge to say "NOT" after every sentence.
19. You thought your childhood friends would never leave because you
exchanged handmade friendship bracelets.
21. You ever owned a pair of Jelly-Shoes.
22. After you saw Pee-Wee's Big Adventure you kept saying "I know you
are, but what am I?"
23. You remember "I've fallen and I can't get up"
24. You remember going to the skating rink before there were inline
25. You have ever played with a Skip-It.
26. You remember boom boxes and walking around with one on your shoulder
like you were all that.
27. You remember watching both Gremlins movies.
28. You thought Doogie Howser/Samantha Micelli was hot.
29. You remember Alf.
30. You remember New Kids on the Block when they were cool.
31. You knew all the characters names and their life stories on "Saved
By The Bell," The ORIGINAL class.
32. You know all the words to Bon Jovi - SHOT THROUGH THE HEART.
33. You just sang those words to yourself.
34. You still sing "We are the World"
35. You tight rolled your jeans.
36. You owned a banana clip.
37. You remember "Where's the Beef?"
38. You used to (and probably still do)
say "What you talkin' 'bout Willis?"

Sunday, May 06, 2007


On my side of the fence, I chose Cohen with greens. You, Cash and fries. You're still making bets with yourself, while i keep my money on the pass line. And while you made yours with chain link and ivory, i just drew a line. You climb on your gate every afternoon and sing. I can hear you from my bedroom airduct. I don't cross my lines anymore because I cannot. I threw all our strange skeletons to keep up my fright. I also threw in my copy of Poltergeist. That means business, love. Don't you just know it? Part of every coincidence is still in my memory. With you, there's another me that we all can remember. While with me, only marsh with musik and a setting sun.

Zenzen dewa shiranai

What was I thinking? Giving up drinking and smoking right before Golden Week? Seriously? Well, I did, and had fun in Tokyo and Saitama anyway. We started out at Chu's bar on Wednesday night, and then hit the trains up to the women's center.
Here are some pictures.

First time drinking non-alcoholic beer. Not bad.

We found a box of 7 kittens underneath a bridge, where they laid with their eyes sealed shut with dried mucus. We cleaned their eyes so they could see, and eventually brought them back to Kim's bathtub. The kitten I picked up first happened to be Kusa and she came home with me the next day.

Kim took Tara

And Pixie took the rest.

Besides kittens, we also sang.
And learned new things.